Sunday, September 28, 2014

From home to home and back home again.

You know how you can set the mood? We can set the mood to foster our anger, to blow on the embers of a injustice or even a greivence till it is a burning inferno. We can also foster a mood of forgiveness in ourselves. We can set the mood for our day, set the mood for our emotions.

This morning I set the mood for a good long hard cry. Not the sniffle kind of cry. The grab the whole roll of toilet paper out of the bathroom, immerse myself in it, my face in leaking kind of cry.

Maybe it doesn't help that I am back on steroids. Or that it seems like I have broken more things in the last two-three days, than I have in years put together! Maybe the embers started with the blood shot eyes and jello muscles from lack of sleep. Or that finally when I was in a deep sleep I was awoken to a two year old crying in the night, threw in the towel, and decided to stop trying to even sleep.
I got up and started to check emails. And there was a email from a website for encouragement for women overseas. I found myself on their website reading article after article. Wanting more than 2-D relationships, maintaining relationships overseas, and the list goes on and on. That's when the little sniffles started. Then I started looking up worship songs that really speak to me. And cue the messy cry session!!

So I started thinking in the wee hours of the morning in my lack of sleep state. As I prepare probably for my longest time back in the states since I hunkered down and called this place home. (yeah, its less than two months, I know. But I know a week in, my heart will be so homesick for here!) A few things, I want people to know, in this crazy two continents are home life.

1. A series of goodbyes
I live in constant series of goodbyes. No matter where I am, there are tight embraces, tears shed, unexplainable joy at the sight of you, who I haven't seen in who knows how long. But I always know, there is a goodbye coming around the corner. I miss you and will miss you again. Your life will go on, as will mine. Things always have a way of settling back into the routine. And after we have felt tears drip on each others shoulders in a embrace of goodbye, I will start the process all over again with the next person. The joy, the tears, the goodbye.

2. Time
I wish I could spend every minute, with every person, in every state, that I love so dearly for every stinkin' moment I am home Which I am starting to wonder which town, state, village, country, or continent is "home". Please know that when I don't get to spend as much time as we both would like together, it hurts me too. Please don't make it any harder, more complicated, than it has too be. If I could, we would hunker down in front of the fireplace with coffee in hand, and talk till our jaws fall off.

3. I am a bit shell shocked
I remember my first trip back to the states. I went to WalMart a few days in, and wandered around that place like I had just crawled out from under a rock. I could have bought everything and nothing, it was more the experience. When I walk into church, I am processing and going through a thousand different emotions. That joy of seeing faces that I have done life with, grown with, and my heart aches for. Yet, I am processing all the emotions of the vastness of it all. I am going through a bit of culture shock along with the vast joy of seeing you. If I seem a bit short, or awkward Well lets be honest, I have always been a bit awkward. Please remember I am trying to process a thousand things in one moment and am shifting from a dozen emotions in just a short time. If we go to the new huge mall that has kids walking ropes on the ceiling, dazzling lights, a zillion stores and even more places to eat, or things to choose to eat, or buy, or sit on, or do. I mean games in restaurants, arcades, kids walking ropes on the ceiling. I love being with you, but I spend 95% of my time in a foreign country, and this is like a bit out of a strange dream. This is no longer my norm, and it might take me a bit to get a bearing on my processing through it.

I cannot explain my joy of coming to my other home soon. So many necks I cannot wait to hug, till I might be slightly choking you. But I am always sort of preparing myself. I know that I will walk into the church and be so overwhelmed with joy and excitement, and always somehow find myself in the stall of the women's bathroom crying. I am trying to find out why I am crying! Am I overwhelmed with the joy, am I sort of in a culture shock? I guess I will never be able to answer that as my heart is shifting between so many emotions so rapidly. I guess part of me is preparing myself for the whole experience again.

With all that said, I cannot wait to see you. But if I nearly knock you over with a hug, or I walk around a bit shell shocked in WalMart. Honestly, what I want more than anything is to see you! I love the tiny coffee shop, a cup of coffee, and just to chat. And when you honestly want to hear the crazy stories of life, it helps my heart process on a different level. Weather its a silly story of being caught during the remembrance in a downpour and sharing a little spot out of the rain with a chicken. Or stories of how Moses and Rebecca are growing up, and how proud I am of them! What means more than a mall, food, anything, is YOU. And I want to know all about your stories, your life, since we last sat down together with a hot cup of coffee and chatted. I want to know all about your adoption process, your empty nest, your new little person, job promotion, and the little things driving you crazy. Time with you means more than a million things.

A heart preparing,
Tina

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Currently......



The kids painting rocks. You gotta get creative some times.
Turning- 34. Seriously, that is just not right!

Reading- Return To Me by- Lynn Austin. I am kind of obsessed with her books lately!

Drinking- Water with lemon essential oil.


Found- out that I have Multiple sclorisis. Went into Kigali to get a MRI, after loosing vision in my right eye, and finding out the optic nerve was swollen. There was 7 lesions on the brain in the white matter. But so grateful that it is something that can be slowed down with medication! Thankful I could get a MRI to diagnosis it. Grateful I am now aware!

Sleeping- maybe 2-3 hours a night. A good night is 4 hours. On a heavy dose of steroids to help bring down the swelling in the optic nerve in my right eye. It is working though, and the rest of my body is thankful for depth perception. (I was even more clumsy walking into things, when all my vision in that eye went ka-put)
Produce stop on the way home from Kigali.

Eating- carbs, what else?

Planning- A trip to the states next month! I will be speaking at Oswego Alliance on the 26th of October! Cannot wait to see you all! I also am looking forward to seeing my general practioner, and hopefully the nuerologist there as well. This trip is such a blessing already! Though a huge part of my heart already longs for the return home. I will be in the states till Mid-December!

Needing- 18 more $26 a month sponsors for the house. You can click that nifty little donate button for recurring donations and sign up for just $26 a month! YOU are what keep things going here, for real.

Crying-..... I cannot even remember the last time I cried, seriously.

Laughing- at Moses the other day. He asked me to draw a spider, so I did. When I handed it to him he threw the paper over his head and went screaming down the driveway "Aaaaah its a spider!" that kid is 100% all personality!

Missing- All the visitors we had this summer! And ice cream. I hate to admit how much lately I have thought of real legit ice cream. I blame the steroids!


Taking mama B and Liz to see Rwandan dancers in August.

Listening- to Chip Ingram's series "Unstuck". I apparently am very verbal when I listen to sermons. The other day Moses woke up from nap and heard me listening to it, and immediately said "Amen! .... You are killing me Chip!" I was dying laughing, that kid has too much personality!









If you want to know more about what Multiple Scolorisis is, watch the video below!


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

26 by the 26th



I wanted to start this on the first of September, but as most of you know, I was in Kigali getting some other things taken care of that needed attending too. More on that later!

When I first moved here in August of 2012, I had committed to two years here in Rwanda. Obviously God had other plans, and life looked a lot different than I thought it would. That baby I went to visit every single day in the orphanage came into my home as my foster son. A little girl I adored, got to come home as my foster daughter. Older girls that were in my home when I got here, most have moved onto University and are part of other programs, as they pursue their future’s. Currently we have 5 other people in the house who live here. 

I have had the amazing opportunity to minister to two other people outside of the home as well, on a ongoing basis. One being Mama Karisa, who worked at the orphanage in the baby room, has been widowed, and has a heart condition. Now with the orphanages closing, she was recently let go, and is pursuing work elsewhere.  We have been honored to get to set a place for her at our table for nearly two years to join us for lunch. With her heart condition, she was unable to eat the food cooked there, because it had too much salt. Recently she stopped by to give me the sweetest letter, and a hand carved mama holding a baby. Who knew how much it ministered to someone to be welcomed at your table!! 


We also have been able to minister to a older orphan Angel, who has been the sole caretaker for her family. They lived by the river in a home that would often flood. She takes care of her elderly aunt, and two cousins in the home. And we were able to rent her a house for about $75 a month that is safe and no worry of the river flooding into their home. 

Obviously my ministry is changing as the orphanages close down in the country, as they work to reunify children to families, or put them in foster homes. And as the orphanage continues to close down, I am not sure what my ministry here will look like in 6 months. It is surely a time of transition in many ways. But I have a few idea’s, one which is so heavy on my heart, and I am praying to see how that will look, and how that will look as it comes into fruition. 

I have also been in the process of moving under a different NGO, which I hope to get to the states soon to do their week long training. 

So as you can see, so much has happened, and so much has changed, and so much continues to change. But in the midst of change, we have found ourselves here in a interesting financial position. Two year commitments have ended. Some sponsors personal situations have changed. Going under a different NGO, and working alongside another international NGO in the country. 

So  we are looking for new monthly sponsors. My birthday is on the 26th (How is it even possible that I will be 34? Wasn’t it just yesterday I was 25?) So for my 34th birthday on the 26th, I am looking for 26 people to do $26 a month. That is less than $1 a day! Right now we have been carried through with random one time donations that have filled in the gaps. Obviously these donations are never guaranteed and there are some months I am holding my breath.  It is amazing how the money is always there right when we need it! I have a few times, gone to bed, just saying “OK Lord, its in your hands, there is nothing I can do.” And woken up to a one time donation with just a few dollars over exactly what we needed! 

If YOU would like to donate $26 a month, you can click the button on the right side near the top of this blog for a recurring donation! Any one time donations help as well! All donations are used for daily living expenses, such a educational, medical, rent, water, power, food, etc. Though 3 of the 4 girls in the house have sponsors, sometimes, we have a gap, or unexpected fee’s that come up.
I seriously cannot minister to those in the home, or those outside the home who we have been able to without you. You are what makes this work. 


I have been so honored to be here for the two years I have been here. And who knew that after two years, I would be going into my third year? 

Please note, that once the change is complete to the new NGO, recurring donors will be asked to switch over to there.







In Christ, 
Tina